Spokane Journal of Business

HSSA grants $380,000 for access to health care

Five Spokane nonprofits receive share of funding

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The Health Sciences & Services Authority of Spokane County announced it will grant $380,000 next year to five community recipients of its annual Access to Care grant competition.

The organizations that were selected provide health services and increased access to health care to certain populations, says Nancy Isserlis, HSSA board chairwoman.

“HSSA’s mission includes increasing access to health care through innovative and collaborative health care delivery in Spokane County, as well as its ongoing efforts to improve the capacity of the Spokane region in health sciences research,” Isserlis says.

“HSSA received 13 grant proposals totaling over $1.2 million, which certainly speaks to community need and innovation presented in these proposals,” she says.

Here are the 2018 recipients of HSSA’s Access to Care grant competition.

•Empire Health Foundation-Catholic Charities Spokane “Rising Strong” will receive $100,000 from HSSA for its family-centered treatment, with housing for families at risk of child removal due to parental alcohol and substance use. Rising Strong will provide housing, recovery coaching, behavioral treatment, and evidence-based programs for the entire families.

•Providence Health Care Foundation will receive $100,000 to establish on-site dental care for low income populations, with clinics at Sacred Heart and Holy Family hospitals. Nearly 3,600 dental patients came to Providence in 2015 for treatment. HSSA’s funding will be used for dental equipment purchased to outfit dentist work space at Sacred Heart.

•Volunteers of America of Spokane Hot Spotters program will receive $100,000 to provide improved health outcomes for high-need residents who often present to emergency departments, emergency responders, community court system, and mental health providers with a complex blend of social, medical, mental health and/or substance abuse matters, sometimes referred to as “hot spotters” for the frequency of their high cost visits to providers.

•Partners with Family & Children will receive $50,000 next year to continue its mission to address the specialty child abuse needs for a growing number of children who suffer from physical or sexual child abuse, as well as conduct training for new medical personnel.

•Spokane Prescription Assistance Network will receive $30,000 to make available prescription drugs for moderate income, underinsured people on Medicare and other insurance plans with high deductibles and co-pays. The organization is billed as the only one in Spokane dedicated to providing expertise in accessing prescribed medication on a communitywide basis and claims an $18 to $1 return on investment for its funders, including HSSA.

“We have now awarded nearly $1.9 million in Access to Care grants in our county to organizations who do the important work with people who otherwise would not receive health care services or would seek these services from other expensive options,” Isserlis says.

HSSA’s other strategic initiative is to increase local health sciences research and the infrastructure that supports it, and the organization designates 75 percent of its revenues for that purpose.

Research grants are available year-round for proposals that meet HSSA criteria in one of its research categories. HSSA has invested nearly $5 million to date in health science research and infrastructure grants.

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